MAN MEETS MAGIC & MACHINE. The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry.
User reviews: Very Positive (4,677 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 25, 2013

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Includes: Shadowrun Returns + Anthology + Soundtrack

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Upgrade from the Standard to the Deluxe Edition. Only available for owners of the Standard Edition.

Buy Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut

 

Recommended By Curators

"A kickstarter success, a limited but enjoyable cyberpunk cRPG set in the classic Shadowrun universe. Orcs with cybernetics, XCOM style combat."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (12)

July 30

Shadowrun Returns version 1.2.7 is now live!

Release 1.2.7 contains a variety of Dragonfall and Dead Man's Switch campaign fixes and general system improvements. If you are encountering any campaign issues in Dragonfall, please update to build 1.2.7 immediately. (To update, restart Steam and then allow Shadowrun Returns to fully verify and download the new build.)

If you are experiencing a campaign-related issue, you may also need to restart your current scene (select "Restart Level" from the PDA) or rewind (select "Rewind" from the PDA save screen, then select a previous level) to before you encountered the issue in order to resolve the issue.

TROUBLESHOOTING & REPORTING BUGS:
If you are experiencing technical issues with Shadowrun Returns or Shadowrun: Dragonfall, please see this post: http://steamcommunity.com/app/234650/discussions/0/558749191390963834/

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Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issue where level start triggers could be refired when loading a saved game.
  • Fixed issue that caused Drones to not heal with Shadowrunners upon return to a safe area.
  • Fixed issue that caused Drones to not heal last damage with Shadowrunners when combat ended.

Bug Fixes: Dragonfall Campaign
  • Fixed issue that caused players to potentially enter into a state where Optional Objective should not be completed in MKVI mission.
  • Fixed issue where game could enter into a bad state in Bloodlines mission.
  • Fixed issue that caused incorrect conversation option in Epilogue.
  • Fixed issue in Bloodlines conversation that caused player to enter into combat with non hostile enemies.
  • Shadowland post spelling/grammar/punctuation fixes.

Bug Fixes: Dead Man's Switch Campaign
  • Fixed issue that allowed players to save into a state where the Main character is Immortal.
  • Fixed issue that allowed Players to save into a bad state in Family Debts level.
  • Fixed issue causing enemies to spawn without orders resulting in a blocker in Family Debts level.
  • Rebalanced hired character Dodger for Telestrian Industries mission.
  • Rebalanced hired character Harlequin for the Hunt Begins mission.
  • Rebalanced hired character Tir Tairngire Ghost for the Hunt Begins mission.
  • Removed collision from prop that was causing potential play blocking issue in The Hunt Begins mission.

25 comments Read more

Reviews

“Diehard GameFAN: 2013 Game of the Year/Best PC Game/Best Digital-Downloadable Game/Best Tactical RPG, Softpedia: Best RPG 2013, Hardcoregamer: Nominated Best Strategy Game 2013, Gamezebo: Best Games of 2013, Gamasutra: Top Games of the 2013”
Best of 2013 Awards

“Shadowrun Returns drops players headfirst into this richly realized fiction, combining classic role-playing storytelling with modern tactical battles . . . running the shadows has never been more fun.”
8.5/10 – Game Informer

“This is one of the most satisfying and complete tactical roleplaying experiences to come out of 2013 and realistically the last few years.”
4.5/5 – HardcoreGamer

Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut Arrives September 18th



Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut is a standalone release of Harebrained Schemes' critically-acclaimed Dragonfall campaign, which first premiered as a major expansion for Shadowrun Returns. The Director's Cut adds a host of new content and enhancements to the original game: 5 all-new missions, alternate endings, new music, a redesigned interface, team customization options, a revamped combat system, and more - making it the definitive version of this one-of-a-kind cyberpunk RPG experience. NOTE: The Director’s Cut is free to existing owners of the Dragonfall expansion for Shadowrun Returns. It will be automatically added to your Steam Library when the game is released.

Steam Workshop

With the Shadowrun Returns Editor, everyone is empowered to create and share their own stories and campaigns with the Steam Workshop community. You can even explore the entire Shadowrun Returns Seattle campaign in the Editor directly - see how it was built and borrow as much as you need to jump-start your own creations! No advanced coding or art skills are required to create content using the SRR Editor.

Digital Deluxe Edition

The Shadowrun Returns Soundtrack
From the composers of the classic Shadowrun SEGA and SNES games, the Shadowrun Returns Soundtrack pays homage to the past with a modern sentiment.

Shadowrun Returns Anthology
Explore the story of Shadowrun Returns even further with an illustrated PDF of 16 short stories written by authors from Shadowrun’s past, present and future. As a bonus, the anthology also Includes over 60 pages of concept art from the creation of the game.

About This Game

MAN MEETS MAGIC & MACHINE. The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner - a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary.

In the urban sprawl of the Seattle metroplex, the search for a mysterious killer sets you on a trail that leads from the darkest slums to the city’s most powerful megacorps. You will need to tread carefully, enlist the aid of other runners, and master powerful forces of technology and magic in order to emerge from the shadows of Seattle unscathed.

The unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun has gained a huge cult following since its creation nearly 25 years ago. Now, creator Jordan Weisman returns to the world of Shadowrun, modernizing this classic game setting as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG.

Key Features

  • Gripping Tactical Combat: When you’re running the shadows, every turn matters. Choose your actions wisely - move to better cover, charge into melee, or lob a fireball into a crowd of enemies. With the variety of weapons and spells at your disposal, every turn is filled with meaningful choices. A successful run requires commanding a team of runners with the right balance of combat, tech, and magical abilities.
  • Skill-Based Character Progression: Choose a starting character archetype and build from there! Street Samurai and Physical Adepts use advanced combat skills to dominate the battlefield, Shamans and Mages summon powerful allies and cast deadly spells, while Riggers and Deckers provide critical technological support, projecting their consciousness directly into drones and computer systems. Shadowrun Returns’ classless skill system allows you to grow your character in any direction you choose. Want to start summoning spirits as an ork Shaman and evolve into a cybered-up weapon specialist? Do it!
  • Engaging 2D/3D Art Style: Shadowrun Returns mixes dynamic 3D characters and lighting with a vibrant, hand-painted environment. Illustrated character portraits bring every conversation to life. Explore a world filled with detail, from the slums of the Redmond Barrens to the extravagant offices of powerful corporations.

System Requirements

PC
Mac
Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP SP3/Vista/Windows 7
    • Processor: x86-compatible 1.4GHz or faster processor
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX compatible 3D graphics card with at least 256MB of addressable memory
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.6
    • Processor: Intel-based Macs only (x86-compatible, 1.4GHz or better)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard disk space: 2 GB HD space
    Minimum:
    • Processor: x86-compatible 1.4GHz or faster processor
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Modern 3D graphics card with at least 256MB of addressable memory
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
105 of 118 people (89%) found this review helpful
525.3 hrs on record
As an avid Shadowrun fan, I was psyched when I heard about the kickstarter for Shadowrun Returns. I immediately backed it and kept careful track of the progress. Based on some of the design decisions and the concept art, I was initially concerned. My worry proved to be unfounded though. When I first opened Dead Man's Switch I was immediately pleased with the depth of detail in story and graphics.

It does a respectable job of emulating the pen and paper game feeling. There is room for improvement, and I certainly hope some of the issues are addressed in the future, but there is enough variety for you to at least customize a character to reflect you (combat) style. Lacking stealth is a particularly strong drawback. So is the way social skills like negotiation and con are replaced with etiquette, but a smart modder can work around that and present an experience which will tailor to your needs.

Which brings me to my next point, the editor. Say what you will about the main story, give it a couple months and it won't matter. The game comes with the same editor the developers used to make the game. Based on the community, you can expect some amazing modules to come and I look forward to them in the future! As for the main game, I enjoyed it even though it was fairly linear. It had the feeling of playing shadowrun at a gaming convention, you needed to follow a set script, but there was a decent story to back it up.

One of the biggest concerns myself, and the community had was the lack of a save anywhere feature. Fortunately HBS was quick to implement this after release. They are very attentive to their fans needs. Now if only they could do something to limit ammo!

Overall though, I am happy with Shadowrun Returns. If you are an avid fan, get it. If you are a casual gamer, do your research first. This game is not made by a major studio, you cannot hold it to the same standards as you would something from EA Games. If you want voice acting, amazing graphics, and more options than you can imagine, this is not for you. If you are willing to give the little guy a chance, and want the feeling of playing Shadowrun with your friends, then you will probably be pleased with what you get. At the very least its the best Shadowrun game out there currently.

UPDATE 6/29/14
I was asked about the game's replayability, so here is an update to address that. I will (most likely) better update the review later, but for now here it is.

Most of my hours were spent inside the editor, you can easily spend hundreds of hours making your own mods. If you want to tell your own stories, and share them with the community, this is the game for you. The editor is the same tool used by the devs to make the official modules.

A regular player will get less mileage out of the official campaign. The base campaign, Dead Man's Switch is under 20 hours for a playthrough. I played through it 3 times with different style of characters, but the experience is more or less the same regardless of character type.

The expansion, Dragonfall, was also under 20 hours of playtime. I have only played that campaign once. Its a much more satisfying experience than the base campaign, but still, limited replay-ability. There are a couple optional missions you can play, but they both are fairly linear overall.

The place where you can get strong replay-ability is the fan made modules. Some of them are really incredible. The downside is that being fan made you need to be patient for them to finish. It is entirely likely that you will start one and then finish everything that is there and be stuck waiting for the next installment.
Posted: June 20
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44 of 52 people (85%) found this review helpful
55.4 hrs on record
I hesitated in picking up this game after reading a lot about how terrible the original campaign was and how the game was dull and boring. It also didn't help that I didn't really know anything about the Shadowrun universe. During the Summer Sale though, I was in the mood for something new, and picked it up. I just finished playing through the original campaign (Dead Man's Switch - DMS) and have to say, I'm glad I bought the game.

Getting the basics out of the way, I admit that DMS is very linear. There is a lot of reading involved. And besides combat, there's not a lot of interaction with the world. Still, as someone who knew next to nothing about Shadowrun before I started, I think DMS does a very good job of introducing the player to the world and the mythos surrounding it. The reading will probably be boring to someone who is deeply familiar with the setting, but I found it very useful. Gameplay is likewise straightforward which allows a new player to dive in without fear of messing up. I played a Street Samurai / Decker and had no trouble. I did find myself wishing I could build a party and level them up, outfitting them and whatnot ala Baldur's Gate, but perhaps that will happen in an expansion.

All in all, this game was well worth the $4 I paid. I also picked up the DLC, which I read is much better - I look forward to trying that next.



Posted: June 29
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28 of 38 people (74%) found this review helpful
11.3 hrs on record
If you were to cross Bladerunner with The Dresden Files into a quality tactical strategy RPG hybrid, the result would no doubt be something very akin to Shadowrun Returns. Shadowrun Returns excels at story telling, the game is rich with lore, well written dialogues that feel more conversational than what most games accomplish, and a structured story full of plot twists and interesting characters. Perhaps my favorite point about the story is that it starts out small-scale, you are on a simple mission to look into the death of a friend, but it slowly ramps up into something larger as the story progresses. To top it off the game is set in a beautiful futuristic game world and has solid tactical gameplay to boot.

More than anything this game to me was about an awesome sci-fi detective story. The mystery and intrigue suck you in, the stellar writing especially in regards to dialogue keeps you hooked. I'm not saying the game mimics what street talk may actually be like in the future, but it was great enough to get me immersed in the street life of futuristic Seattle. The characters within the game range from annoying (intentionally so), charming, grumpy, and likeable; chatting with the regulars throughout the story and going through the different chat options was something I enjoyed doing (shout out to Mr. Kluwe, you're the man, man!). The game's audio and visuals do justice to this story, bringing it to life with stunning hand drawn environments and appropriately mood setting music.

The game's combat also leaves little to be desired. Although I felt the large scale management of the game to be a little inconsistent...for example the money you earn throughout the story can go into temporary lulls, and if you need to do a mission when you aren't expecting it you may find you don't have enough money to buy a full team of mercs. The game runs similar to most other tactical RPG games, especially similar to the XCOM series. You use the terrain to your advantage and in a turn based fashion you move your team about and order them to attack or use utility items/spells. On hard the game isn't terribly difficult and you shouldn't have to think deeply each turn on how to best arrange your team and how to best utilize there action points (how many actions they can take per turn). The combat is a bit sparse at the beginning of the game but as you progress further you start to battle the baddies more often and that's when the fun starts.

Shadowrun Returns is a solid tactical RPG game, and with the addition of the Steam workshop can keep you playing well beyond the twelve hour campaign. The game's story is strong and the characters within are fun ones. It's nice to play a detective style game that isn't a point and click for a change. The game is quite gripping and just like any good detective novel it kept me at the edge of my seat until I got through to the end.
Posted: August 14
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21 of 28 people (75%) found this review helpful
25.6 hrs on record
I played the classic on the SNES back in the day and only lasted 10 minutes before dying. No matter what I did, I died. I thought Shadowrun Returns might be as deadly as the original, but (thankfully) it wasn't.

Shadowrun Returns looks amazing, and from the first moment it makes you wonder just what lies ahead in this strange cyberpunk world. The inviting world teasing you to explore and uncover the truths behind the deadman who wants you to find his killer, however... it never really got there.
Don't get me wrong - the various maps look amazing, but there's little to them other than being a very impressive backdrop. There's no real reward for exploring, and the various NPCs that litter the sidewalks aren't much more than fancy decoration on an already good looking cake. Perhaps I was asking too much for this to be a deeply engrossing world, yet in a way it is an engrossing world thanks to the storytelling.

What you are going to get in Shadowrun Returns is a great story, and for some it might even be too text heavy (especially if English isn't your native language). However, I enjoyed it, the story is basically a detective novel as you try to uncover the mystery of who killed your friend. The catch being the client is the deadman himself, which is great and is a nice nod to the old film noir movies of old.
It's due to how well the story is written I can forgive it for being very linear with almost no plot trees or divergence due to your actions or selections that I noticed.

In fact, that seems to be the theme of the game. It's a very well presented world, with a very well written story, but just seems to lack a little spice. There's very little loot, there's very little to explore, the skill tree looks rather impressive, but doesn't seem grab you at all. The same with character creation.
I don't want to come across as overly negative with the game, as I really did enjoy what was offered, yet I feel like it could have offered so much more. Again, perhaps I'm demanding too much from what is already a very well presented game.
On the plus side it has Steam Workshop intergration and there seems to be a host of community mods and projects underway, so a host of new content should just be around the corner. Likewise the developers have released DLC, which seemingly adds another layer to the game (perhaps that's what I'm looking for?).

In short, a very solid game and a welcome return for Shadowrun, but it's not as brutal as the original and perhaps lacks that little something extra to make it a true great. Enjoy the detective story.
Posted: August 2
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Hype and expectation are funny things. They can invite even the most rational and level-headed into wish fulfulment FAR beyond the truth, and we all know how prevalent that is in video gaming. I honestly believe that this game's reputation absolutely suffers from precisely this, especially from the view of some players.

So, Shadowrun Returns - the question is "does it", or rather "does it REALLY warrant the return?"

Let's start with the expectation part I mentioned. When this game was proposed, those that were fans of the old tabletop RPG and the old SNES classic sat up and took notice, and for good reason. Nostalgia aside, both are truly excellent games in their own rights. The downside to this is that it tends to set the bar VERY high, expectation-wise.

Fast forward to the game's release, and there were certainly mixed views; much of the criticism dealt with there being less on the action and more on the text and story. Also, length was cited too, or rather, lack of it. On the face of it, very valid criticisms, except that many of these either forgot or didn't understand WHAT the game was achieving - a new version of the classic games, adhering closely to the rules - in short, Shadowrun RETURNS. The clue's in the name. It does what it says on the tin.

So, there's an abundance of text and story, and less of the action itself, and yes, it is a bit short. While they are valid concerns EVERY game buyer should consider before dropping their cash, context is also equally important. Apologies for this slightly overblown introduction, but I felt it valid to lay this down at the outset. Let's get on with the review.

If you know what Shadowrun is (or was), then there's little point in going over this and you can skim to the last paragraph. If you don't, then as I've already said, there's the classic tabletop "D&D style" game - a pure, unadulterated old-school pencil and paper RPG. The hook here is that elves, orcs, goblins and all the staples of fantasy exist, but the one major difference is everything is a futuristic sci-fi bent. It probably sounds completely at odds with one another, but it works so very, very well, both in lore and in combat ... ESPECIALLY in combat. You can still hack 'n' slash if you want to, you can still use magic if you want to, but add to the mix firearms and a complete veneer of futuristic and modern tech, and you have Shadowrun.

It rather goes without saying that anyone who has spent any time playing old-school tabletop RPG knows that story and text are perhaps the premier parts, and that is the case here, naturally. But the question to the critics remains "ah, but it is any good?" Thankfully, the answer is "yes, it is".

I confess I'm a little jaded. I've been around gaming since the very start, and have never had a period when I've not been involved. I've seen a lot, played a lot, own a lot, and have even worked in the industry (albeit relatively briefly). For the most part, I care little for story in games - most times I'm merely concerned with the mechanics over everything else. I couldn't tell you the story of Halo, for example, as it never gripped me in any way. So, why on earth am I saying this game's story is good? Because it DID grip me right from the off. It works. You know the story's working on you when you can start to identify and remember the characters. So, being heavy on the story is an ASSET to this game, and in no way a hindrance. I shan't spoil it in any way, but it's a fairly standard story, but it does it pretty well, so in summary I don't see the critique of "too much story, too little action" in any way a bad thing unless it's REALLY not your thing.

Now, onto length. Yes, it IS relatively short. However, you should at least consider the reasoning behind the game's existence - it would never have seen the light of day AT ALL were it not for crowd-funding. Sure, you can claim they made big promises and ran out of resources and/or time, but the conclusion here is that putting all those aside the end product is pretty damned good. As stated before, it very much does what it says on the tin. So, if you don't mind quantity being less if the quality's good or reasonable, then there is no issue here. What does render the length argument completely invalid is one thing - WORKSHOP support. There's TONS of user-generated content out there which not only mimics what tabletop RPGs are all about, but the inclusion of mod tools (which I haven't tried) ensure that it's pretty easy to dole out a good scenario, and it certainly shows. So, if you finish the game and want more, you won't be disappointed at all.

The combat is best described as being very similar to XCOM. It's turn-based with the dual-turn set of movement/action phases per character, or a mixture of those: you move, you shoot/swing/etc, and your turn's over. Your playfield is peppered with objects that you can utilize as cover, with the shield icon offering how good that cover is. This all offers a lovely tactical play where you don't just consider dumping your character up against the enemy and swing away at them, but you have to consider balancing cover with line of sight, flanking, and a number of other little tricks to make the best use of the battle.

Character skills are great. As you'd rightly expect from a combination fantasy/sci-fi, it lends you a VERY wide palette of things to mess around with. Fire-based magic attacks? Sure. Rifles, pistols, or SMGs? Yup, have at them. Fire-based attacks WITH your pistol? Yup, that too. It does the Shadowrun rules well, and the interface is clear and intuitive and you'll have no issues picking it up quickly.

Visually, the game offers a very nice art-style that does the medium justice. Backgrounds are all pre-rendered and hand-drawn (or at least they LOOK hand-drawn) in a graphic novel style which suits perfectly. Nothing I can fault here at all. Musically, the soundstrack is really good. I'm not a big fan of music soundtracks - I'm not one who will listen to them outside of the game. To me, they're a background that serves to provide ingredient to the recipe. They should illustrate without hindering the game in any way. Not only does the style and mood of the music suit perfectly, but it's not repetitive, and remains interesting without hindering in ANY way. If you're someone who does listen to game music absent of the game, you might well find this one very appealing.

So, final summary time. Is it worth purchasing? Yes. If you are expecting a good turn-based old-shool RPG, it's worth it. Steam Workshop really underlines this, value-wise. The only caveat I would make is that if you're either not sure whether this sort of game's for you, or the length of the official game really is an issue for you, I'd thoroughly recommend waiting for a sale - it's still worth picking up.

Final note I'm doing with all my reviews now: I'm giving a "what do I think the game's worth?" instead of any score or other metric, as I think that's the most valuable metric anyone could have. I'd say this deserves a £9 (or your regional equivalent).
Posted: October 8
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191 of 215 people (89%) found this review helpful
28.9 hrs on record
The Shadowrun short story simulator, that is what this is - and it's glorious. Gameplay may be somewhat shallow and linear, but excellent writing in the official campaigns (Deadman's Switch and Dragonfall) make up for that. Particularly Dragonfall is a MUST PLAY for any Shadowrun fan. The neo-anarchist Berlin provides an excellent backdrop for a genuinely exciting story with lots of memorable characters (each with an interesting backstory that you slowly uncover over the course of the campaign) and some excellent twists and turns til you reach the epic conclusion. I should note however, that Dragonfall is a separate DLC that you need to buy on top of Shadowrun returns (Thanks to pruwyben for pointing this out in the comments - it is a bit unfortunate that I cannot write a single review just for the DLC.)

Make no mistake, this is basically a text adventure, lots of reading, most of the "roleplaying" is happening in big blocks of text and the general storyline can't be changed in major ways. The XCOM-ish battles are a nice intermission between the big chunks of text, but they are not particularly deep or varied for the most part. Every now and then the game mixes it up a bit with a few events that I do not want to spoil, but for the most part this is an interactive novel with excellent music running in the background while you read what is going on.

Personally, I love it - graphics may be super-awesome these days, but small details and nuances still can't be done with the same ease as plain old text does it. And the superb writing brings the world of Shadowrun to life like no multi-billion dollar production could have done in my honest opinion, the atmosphere and flair Harebrained Schemes achieved with these simple means is just amazing.

If you enjoy good writing in your videogames, don't mind somewhat limited gameplay and/or are a Shadowrun-nut you need to check out Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall - do it! Deadman's Switch + Dragonfall + the editor to make your own stories a reality, one hell of a deal!
Posted: April 21
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